Black Mirror Reflection: Undocumented Citizens

Talley Bass

In the future, everyone is documented by the government thanks to advanced technology.

In a futuristic maternity ward, doctors place chips behind the ears of many children just below the skin. Max is returned to his mother after the chip injection, and viewers watch Max grow to age 8.

As he plays with trains in his family living room, a group of government agents kick down his front door and remove his father from the home. The father kicks and screams “You can’t prove anything!” Max and his mother cry, and neither see the father again.

We later learn Max’s father was embezzling millions of dollars. However, it was too early for the government to detect the crime, leaving Max to grow and wonder how they knew.

While Max grew without a father, he became angry, rebellious and combative. During one fight in high school, he was hit so hard behind the ear, he fell to the ground. He later discovered a small lump under his skin he had never noticed before.

Thinking something had gruesomely burrowed itself in his skin, Max grabbed his father’s old pocket knife and worked to remove the lump while making a bloody mess. He examined the chip hanging by a small wire, and cut the wire in half. The light from the chip immediately went dark.

Within minutes, Max heard sirens and saw a similar van that had taken his father years ago pull up the front of his home. Not knowing what he had done, he knew somehow they were here for him. As government officials kicked down the door, Max lept out his window and ran into the night until he hit the edge of town.

Out of breath and tired, he still heard sirens, but didn’t know where to go. Before he could decide, he was hit on the side of the head and shoved into the back of a van.

Max woke in a stainless steel cell with his arms, legs, and head strapped into the chair. A man in a lab coat entered the room and explained the chip was a device the government used to keep order with the people.

With the chip, officials could see through the eyes of the chip holder and track them. Without the chip, people are officially “undocumented citizens” and considered illegal.

The doctor said this was a government project that had been happening for 50 years, but people were not ready to learn about it. Max was not allowed to leave the government property he was confined to. He is placed in a cell with his father for the rest of his life.

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